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Indians Look To Avoid Embarrassing Sweep In K.C.

(Sports Network) - The Kansas City Royals will leave it up to Kyle Davies to hopes of completing a three-game sweep of the Cleveland Indians tonight from Kauffman Stadium, where the two AL Central also-rans close out their series.

Kansas City has won five in a row against Cleveland and has taken the first two tests of this series, including Wednesday's 9-7 triumph. It has won three straight overall and will pin pitching duties on Davies tonight. The right- hander has won two of his last three decisions and beat the New York Yankees his last time out with five innings of three-run ball on Friday.

It wasn't his best performance of the season, but Davies was able to pull within one game of the .500 mark. He is 6-7 with a 5.22 earned run average in 23 starts, but lost to Cleveland on May 12 despite allowing only two runs in five innings of a 4-0 setback.

Davies is 3-4 with a 5.79 ERA in seven career starts against the Indians.

The Royals look to post the sweep following last night's win. Yuniesky Betancourt homered and knocked in three runs, while Billy Butler and Mitch Maier each ended with a pair of RBI. Bruce Chen (8-6) managed to post his eighth win of the season and allowed four runs and 11 hits in 5 2/3 innings.

"They got a bunch of hits," Chen said of the Indians. "They were swinging the bats real well. It seems like both teams were swinging the bats real well, but I tried to make good pitches. I tried to pound the strike zone. Luckily I was able to minimize the damage so we could win."

All-Star closer Joakim Soria registered his 35th save with a scoreless ninth.

Following tonight's tilt, Kansas City is slated to host the Chicago White Sox for three games over the weekend.

Meanwhile, the Indians have lost eight of their last 10 games and received a rough start from Fausto Carmonalast night. Carmona yielded seven runs and nine hits in five innings to fall to 11-11 this season. Hector Ambrizsurrendered two runs in relief.

"I was leaving the ball up," Carmona said on the club's official site. "A lot of base hits. Almost every base hit was a sinker up in the zone."

Shelley Duncan homered and both Asdrubal Cabrera and Shin-Soo Choo finished with three hits and two RBI for the Indians. Chris Gimenez also plated a pair of runners in a losing effort.

The Indians will try to salvage this series with Mitch Talbot on the mound Thursday, although he's only 1-6 with a 5.32 earned run average over his last nine starts. In last Saturday's 9-3 loss to Seattle, Talbot permitted six runs, four of which were earned, and eight hits in only four innings to fall to 8-10 in 21 starts to go along with a 4.25 ERA.

Talbot, who hasn't won since June 27 at Cincinnati, faced Kansas City for the first time in his career in a 9-3 loss on May 20 and gave up six runs through six innings of work. The righty is 5-4 in nine road starts this season for Cleveland, which heads to Detroit for three games after this set.

Cleveland took two of three meetings from the Royals at Kauffman Stadium earlier in the season, but the Royals responded with a sweep of a two-game set from May 19-20.

Photographs by spatulated, Triple Tri, and chrischappelear used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.